Published on 29th May 2023
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) continues its campaign for the ratification of Convention 181 and Convention 88 started in 2022. With the number of ratifications currently at 38 for Convention 181 and 92 for Convention 88, the organisation is still short of the respective objectives of 45 and 100 ratifications by 2025.
In May, the World Employment Confederation (WEC) organised a webinar to understand better what slows down the ratification process of Convention 181, focusing on the Latin American region. Argentina pointed out four issues: the obsolete legal framework for labour law, the obstacles to creating new laws, the strong opposition of trade unions against outsourcing, and the local suing culture. Brazil noted that the country’s Constitution and labour law framework align with Convention 181, but there is still a high degree of informality in the labour market. The same issue was further raised by Mexico, which brought forward evidence of the steady increase of informal work in the country over the years, especially post-pandemic.
This webinar was the second event of this kind organised by the World Employment Confederation to promote national dialogue around the ratification of the ILO conventions. As Michael Mwasikakata, Head of the Labour Market Services for Transitions Unit at the ILO, put it, Conventions 181 and 88 provide a solid basis for developing conducive national frameworks on employment services. They are, therefore, essential regulatory tools to enable diverse forms of work.
Nigeria became the most recent ratifier of Convention 181 in March 2023, establishing a comprehensive framework for registering, licensing, and effectively regulating private employment agencies and protecting workers that use their services. The World Employment Confederation welcomes this step forward for better African labour markets.